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Sun Sports 0 Hitchin Town 5

Tuesday, December 15 2015

Hitchin marched into the quarter finals of the Hertfordshire Senior Cup with a win against South Midlands League opposition that was ultimately emphatic.

Mark Burke shuffled the pack and started with Simon Martin as the target man, and Liam Brooks and the returning Callum Donnelly in support alongside Matt Lench in a 4-2-3-1 line-up.

On an evening when the match had been in doubt due to rain, the game went ahead on a pitch that looked heavy but only had a few muddy patches - notably the centre circle. Hitchin went on the front foot from the start with efforts from Brooks, Lench - who forced a good save from Hampton in the Sun Sports goal - and Rolfe.

The positive approach paid off after ten minutes. Martin found himself deep in the area with the keeper to beat. His first header was saved, his follow up shot was also saved but he slammed his third attempt emphatically past Hampton.

Hitchin nearly conceded an immediate leveller. Penny took on Walster down the Sun Sports right flank and he found enough space to get in a shot across goal. However the effort was wide of the far post.

The lead was extended on 25 minutes when Callum Donnelly stooped to plant a header home from a left wing cross by Matt Lench.

The first half was largely one-way traffic although Michael Johnson needed to be alert and came out to take the ball at the feet of Liam James.

Indeed Hitchin could've had a third goal from a Lucas Kirkpatrick free kick - one of a number of dangerous deadballs he delivered. This one got a flick-on which landed at the feet of Dan Webb who slotted home but from an offside position.

Half Time - Sun Sports 0 Hitchin Town 2

The second half began with further Hitchin pressure as they looked to kill off the game. Martin had a great chance after Hampton could only parry a cross shot from Brooks. However the striker miskicked and the chance was missed. Nembhard also had to be alert to cut out a cross intended for Lench.

For a fifteen minute spell, the Canaries went off the boil as Sun Sports put on fresh legs and sensed there might be something in the game. Warrell looked threatening when he ran at the defence and forced a regulation save from Johnson, while Lewis Rolfe had to make two important clearances in quick succession.

Mark Burke gave a first outing to Kieran Barnes, who took up a berth on the wing and delivered a couple of good passes as Hitchin looked to finish off the game. 

And in the space of a couple of minutes, the match was effectively over as a contest. The referee chose to play advantage when Housemore (who had received a card minutes earlier) clattered Donnelly on the halfway line. The ball was picked up by Lench but he slipped as Hampton came out to smother the ball. Instead it broke to Kirkpatrick on the edge of the area and he showed good composure to take the ball round the scrambling keeper and slot home on 80 minutes.

A minute later Donnelly got his second of the night and slotted home to make it 4-0.

Sun Sports had one last chance for a consolation as Wallace flicked the ball across the face of the Hitchin goal. However The Canaries were still looking for more goals. As the final whistle loomed, Ben Walster chested the ball down and lofted the ball to Matt Lench outside the penalty area. His looping header evaded the desperate clutches of Hampton and curled into the net to wrap up an emphatic win.

Hitchin now advance to the quarter finals and a home tie scheduled for 12 January against Cheshunt, who conquered Stevenage last week.

FINAL SCORE - Sun Sports 0 Hitchin Town 5


Hitchin - Johnson, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Barker, Webb, Walster, Kirkpatrick, Donnelly C, Martin, Brooks, Lench; Subs - McNamara, Donnelly B, Smith, Barnes (for Martin)

Sun Sports - Hampton, Nembhard, Pooley, Twesigomme, Wallace, Lewis, Penny, Warrell, James, Jones, Johnson B; Subs - Johnson J (for James), Channer, Beaumont, Housemore (for Nembhard), Bonner (for Pooley)

Attendance - 50


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